I Left A Piece of My Soul in Seoul Past Review

By (Marketing., University of Hawaii - Manoa) for

Seoul National University: Seoul - Direct Enrollment & Exchange

What did you gain/learn from your experience abroad? Was it worthwhile?
I am definitely more aware of the world outside of the U.S. Other countries have so much to offer but they are also going through a lot of issues and concerns just as we are in America. I am interested in studying abroad some more in the future, possibly in Vietnam or Germany.

Review Photos

Direct Enrollment: Seoul - Seoul National University Photo Direct Enrollment: Seoul - Seoul National University Photo Direct Enrollment: Seoul - Seoul National University Photo Direct Enrollment: Seoul - Seoul National University Photo

Personal Information

How much international exposure did you have prior to this program? 2 weeks - 1 month

Review Your Program

* Overall educational experience

Academic rigor, intensity, resources, etc.

There were some positives and negatives with my overall educational experience. I took four English spoken courses at SNU and the experiences were different for each course. The workload would be more than enough in a couple of classes, while some did not have enough (but I can't complain on that one). For one of my international business elective course, our professor brought in a lot guest speakers from big corporations, getting us a somewhat exposed to South Korea business and international relations. Most of the professors were knowledgeable and spoke English better than some of the foreign professors I have had at UH, which amazed me. However, I wish the professors were a little more personable with the students and gave us better feedback on our efforts. The department did a decent job trying to keep the educational system similar with the American educational system, like the way the professors graded. [Tip: Try not to take more than 4 courses – or 5 if you have to – because you want time to enjoy your abroad experience and not have your head in the books at all times.]

* Host Country Program Administration

On-site administration of your program

* Housing:

How satisfied were you with your living arrangements?

I applied for dormitory housing a little while after I applied to study at SNU. I received the acceptance letter quite late. After I mailed in a few documents (for some reason they needed the documents to be rushed, which cost me approximately $40), I was set for a room in the dorm. I was glad I was in because it only cost me about $600 (with security deposit included) for the whole semester – what a bargain! After a long and exhausting trip and finally finding the dorms, I arrived at my room and it was decently nice. Met my first local Korean roommate. Upon settling in, I had to buy some items to settle in, such as a pillow, blanket, trashcan, bathroom items, etc. My dorm building was apartment-style with 3 bedrooms, 2 students in a room. My roommate was a sweetheart – quiet, shy, did not know too much English, but clean, which I liked. I loved how the cafeteria, convenient store, kitchen, dry cleaning service, and gym were all 4 floors below me. There was even a restaurant/bar in the building right next to my dorm building. The dorms were walking distance to some of the classrooms. The campus is huge; therefore, there were free school shuttles to take us down to farther campus buildings.

* Food:

If you’re a vegan or vegetarian, good luck. Most of the dishes in South Korea have meat in them. They eat a lot of vegetables, but even most kimchee has animal-based ingredients (e.g. cooking-based powder). I loved how the cafeteria food on campus was super cheap ($2.50-4.00 USD) but after awhile, I got sick of it. There were a few restaurants that I loved going to for Korean food. My favorite was this cheap samgyeopsal restaurant next to the Nakseongdae subway station. Samgyeopsal is a popular Korean dish, commonly served as an evening meal, consisting of thick, fatty slices of pork belly meat, and you grill the meat yourself on the table, like yakiniku style. Pastries in Korea are amazing. They love their pastries, as there are many bakeries around. And don’t get me started on desserts…I am a dessert fanatic and Korea did me no wrong when it came to desserts – patbingsu (Korean-style shaved ice, waffles, hoddeok (filled Korean pancake), etc.

* Social & Cultural Integration:

How integrated did you feel with the local culture?

My favorite part about my study abroad experience was, of course, the non-academics aspect. Has anyone ever mentioned to you how wild Korea’s nightlife is? If not, then you are in for a surprise. There were so many things to do in Seoul – shopping, eating, dancing, drinking, music concerts, festivals, bathhouses, karaoke, hiking, visiting dog cafes, etc. – you can never get bored. Most places don’t close till late, as well, so it’s like you never run out of time. The SNU International Buddy Program created many get-togethers, including membership training (MT), which was basically team-building games and a lot of drinking (if you didn’t know, Koreans love to drink). We also visited the largest Buddhist temple in Seoul. Our special international business course (created specifically for international students) had a western dining etiquette banquet at the Marriott Hotel. I got to play at Lotte World, an amusement park. Around the end of the semester, three of my friends and I went on a trip 5-hours outside of Seoul to a city called Gyeongju, to do some touristy activities, involving biking around for about six hours. SNU also had its spring semester festival filled with lots of food, drinking, and music performances, including some famous Korean music artists. That was lots of fun. [Tip: Make sure you have money for traveling because you definitely should travel to other countries or cities while studying abroad, which I unfortunately didn’t get much of a chance to do due to my low budget.]

* Health Care:

How well were health issues addressed during the program?

* Safety:

If you could do it all over again would you choose the same program? Yes


* Money: How easily were you able to live on a student's budget?

(1 = not very easy/$200+ on food & personal expenses/week, 2.5 = $100/week, 5 = very easily/minimal cost)


If applicable, to what degree did your living situation aid your language acquisition?

Direct Enrollment/Exchange

* Did you study abroad through an exchange program or did you directly enroll in the foreign university? Exchange

Other Program Information

* Where did you live?

Select all that apply

  • Dorm
* Who did you live with?

Select all that apply

  • Local Students
  • International Students

A Look Back

* What do you know now that you wish you knew before going on this program? Yes, school is important but you are not going to study abroad JUST to study. Take in all the culture and what that country has to offer. Be open-minded and adventurous – try new things. Take this opportunity to learn about yourself, another country, build connection/network, and grow as a person. If you are someone that is ready to do all of the above, then this is the program for you!

Individual Course Reviews

Course Name/Rating:

Marketing Management

Course Department: College of Business Administration, 251.321
Instructor: Kiwan Park
Instruction Language: English
Comments: I liked the fact that we had all these real-life cases to read on marketing management. Professor Park did his best to make the class interesting and have the students be involved as possible with discussions. There were a little bit too much workload and presentations to do. Much of the work were group work, which is good, but it was complicated to get the group altogether at times. He, however, never gave back our assignments to let us know our grades, so the whole class would always be in the dark on knowing how we were doing in the class. It also took a long time to find out our midterm grades.
Credit Transfer Issues: I don't know yet because it is still in the process.